Controversy Surrounds Developments in Dinkytown

Posted at: 08/24/2013 3:38 PM
Updated at: 08/24/2013 9:45 PM
By: Beth McDonough

Dinkytown is one of the iconic neighborhoods in Minneapolis.

There's a proposal to build a new apartment complex along Fourth Street Southeast.  And there's push back on the project.  Some worry it'll change the look and character of the campus area.

The developer insists it's change for the better.

Camdi Restaurant is a fixture in the heart of Dinkytown.  It's been around longer than most students who eat there have been alive, "we've been here 26 years," says Camdi Phan.  She's the longtime owner who worries new construction could change the flavor of the campus neighborhood -- even force her business to shut down, "if we can come back and stay that would be nice too, but we are in love with Dinkytown the old way."

Doran Construction heads up the project, "there are certain segments of society that are resistant to change so this is not an uncommon thing to have," according to Kelly Doran.

A picture of the most recent proposal shows a six-story apartment complex built above businesses on Fourth Street Southeast.  Construction on two more complexes behind it are underway by other developers. 

The projects bring what some consider to be outdated areas of Dinkytown, up-to-date, "we're basically renovating/redeveloping an area that's basically a parking lot 75% of the site is a parking lot."

Minneapolis City Council member Diane Hofstede is concerned development is on overdrive here.  That's why she's calling for a six month moratorium, putting proposed projects on hold.  That would give community leaders more time to analyze plans for growth, "this is critical not only for Dinkytown and Marcy Holmes neighborhood this is critical about the DNA of the city of Minneapolis, it's an example of what is iconic."

City records show that none of the buildings are designated historical properties.  A moratorium is fairly unheard of and will be voted on at the City Council meeting this Friday. 

The developer told KSTP he's working with tenants on lease options, so they could stay at their location.